Tinashe Nyaruwanga Social Media and Digital Marketing (Zimbabwe)
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A new year heralds a new season, fresh beginnings and a chance to start over. There is so much excitement and energy that comes with it. We greet each new year with excitement and glee because of the new experiences, opportunities and relationships we look forward to. Most of us cannot wait to put the wisdom we learnt in the past year and show that we have grown.

Similarly to last year 2016 I have assembled a group of top digital experts from Zimbabwe to share their predictions and thoughts regarding the direction of the digital marketing landscape in 2017 and beyond.

And here’s what the digital ‘avengers’ have to say.

Ranga Mberi (ZIM)

Media Management | Communications & PR Consultant

Ranga Mberi - Media Management, Communications & Strategic Relations Consultant | Writer & Editor

Digital Marketing Prediction: Big Year for Ecommerce, Politics …

2017 may be a big year for politics, so we may see a growth in competition to provide news and analysis online. Existing news sites will need progressive web apps; readers don’t want to wait too long to open links. People will cut even more on data spending so news outlets will try ways of providing affordable content.

In business, I think there will be pressure on businesses to raise their game on e-commerce. The cash crisis has been bad but it may yet have an upside in the near future; even if there’s a miracle solution, there will be a mind shift among some customers and they will, going forward, now demand more convenience in transacting.

So we may see more dedicated apps from businesses targeting customers. Content marketing has been the buzzword for the last few years. But the scene is now crowded and brands are going to have to be more creative with their content formats and presentation to stand out from the crowd. So we may see a lot of video, including brands looking to jump on Facebook Live. Visual content over whatsapp will become even bigger.

Sure Kamhunga (SA)

sure5

South Africa-based writer | media relations and communications consultant

Digital Marketing Prediction: Move to an integrated marketing strategy, from traditional to digital marketing

The major challenge will be how to maximise the digital marketing opportunities to strengthen brand value and loyalty particularly in what is becoming a cluttered space. How you retain attention – and most importantly ensure beneficial interaction leading to call to action by your target market – will be key to ensure brand relevance.

Understanding trends, monitoring competitor activity and pro-active brand management through below and above the line tactics will help you to stay above the parapet in a market where consumer loyalty can be finicky and unpredictable given the wide choices consumers now have.

I however think few companies have an integrated marketing strategy that encompasses all the platforms now available, from traditional to digital. More of a hit-and-run approach with no clear, measurable strategy.

Max Soutter (ZIM)

Managing Director of BizSetUp Group

Max Soutter - Consultant and Author

 

Digital Marketing Predictions for 2017

Instagram

Is growing fast and delivering some impressive engagement results. 2017 will eventually see the platform experiment with even more aggressive Facebook like algorithms that will filter who sees your content. Following in Facebook’s footsteps, they start by limiting the business accounts, forcing them to pay to play, then they’ll turn their attention to ordinary folk.

What to Do About It. If organic exposure is important to you, get serious about Instagram. Learn it. Change your business account to an individual one and focus on developing killer content and leveraging niche relevant influencers.

Live Video. Everyone’s doing it, and every platform is favoring it in their algorithms. 2017 will see companies wake up to the massive opportunity that is in LIVE video. As companies struggle to connect with audiences, they’ll be forced to consider more authentic, less polished but more engaging corporate content. Not everyone is willing to be that vulnerable on camera, so in 2017, regular, high quality live content is going to one of the biggest “probatunities” for smart marketers.

What to Do About It.  Jump in! Get comfortable with creating content with a more spontaneous in the moment feel. Develop systems that allow you to maintain the quality of content and delivery without sounding overly rehearsed.   

Twitter

This year will see Twitter experiment frantically with features that will likely anger or confuse it’s traditional users, in an attempt to attract new ones – How well they balance these two groups of people will determine the future of the platform. I suspect that by year end we will see a very different Twitter to the one we have today.

Either a new and improved social media player on a strong growth path, or more likely a battle bruised animal with more bad press and less growth than ever – ready to sell to anyone who can make them more profitable.

What To Do. If you’re very heavily invested in the platform, now would be the time to diversify. Consider ways to migrate your strong twitter following to other more stable platforms. If you’re a business, you’ll also want to focus on capturing those twitter followers as blog or push notification subscribers, customer leads, and even retargeting audiences to be reached via another channel. Don’t wait for the last minute, start now.

Zimbabwe 

As we move towards a more challenging and cashless environment, we’ll see businesses with smaller budgets than ever forced to completely rethink their marketing. They’ll become more focused on results than ever, throwing out the ego metrics that satisfied, even as late as early 2016.

As this happens we’ll hopefully see online payment systems become more prominent – with a good many companies being formed and restructured to take advantage of cashless payments. Despite all this innovation, a good many companies will fail to make the necessary adjustments in time and we should see a lot more closures.

What To Do About It. Change your vocab. Move from talking about things like views, impressions, viral, fans and followers to more useful words like Conversions, optimization, leads, real influence and of course sales. Build your business around metrics that matter, and totally ignore the rest.  Also, if you haven’t already, start thinking bigger than Zimbabwe. The internet frees you from the geographic limitations you maybe accustomed to.

Honest Masiya (ZIM)

Social Media Manager at Visual Point Creative Group

Honest Masiya - Social Media Manager VPCG

Digital Marketing Prediction: Content to Rule

Last year I accurately predicted that live video streaming was going to take over as we saw Facebook Live and Twitter’s Periscope doing well. In that same breath I also predicted that social media platforms that have a video functionality were also going to fly as we saw Snapchat & Whatsapp Video calling take over.

This year I feel CONTENT will be king, a lot of online TV will probably sprout, YouTube channels will be more popular and influencers are going to be key in contributing success of content reach in 2017. Brands using digital marketing as a channel in Zimbabwe are going to depend more on influencers to deliver content to their customers as consumers are going to be on a constant search for content that teaches, entertains and engages them.

Charlene Mukuzvazva (UK)

Marketing manager Citroen Dealer 

 Charlene Mukuzvazva: Marketing Manager Citroen UK 2017 Social media predictions from Top Zimbabwean Experts

Digital Marketing Prediction: 360 Panoramic Videos to take over

Internationally, there will be a greater focus on panoramic 360 videos signaling the complete end of traditional video content.  Not having a video content as part of your marketing mix is definitely not advisable.

How to prepare:

Get familiar with various video apps and do it yourself options out there.

Mike Tashaya (UK)

Accomplished Marketing Professional | Professional Consultant


Mike Tashaya - 2017 Social Media Predictions from Top Zimbabwean Experts

Digital Marketing Prediction: Boon for Online Retail, Social Shopping, live-streaming

2017 should be a good year for ecommerce and especially retail. In the United States alone, shoppers made an estimated $3.34 billion in online purchases on Black Friday and a whopping $3.39 billion the following Monday (Cyber Monday), breaking previous records, that is set to reach even higher levels this year.

Besides offering hard-to-resist deals, retailers took advantage of a variety of technologies and apps to help drive sales this season. But two stood out for me and are set to really explode in 2017:

(i) Social shopping

Digital marketing and Social media in particular already influences consumer behaviour, but in 2017 it will become a bigger driver of direct transactions I believe. Recently Instagram launched a new feature that enables brands to tag products that are featured in the photos they post (much like the way a user would tag his or her friends).

By tapping on those product descriptions, users are able to go to the brand’s website to learn more and make a purchase. In 2017, look for more social media platforms and more brands to bring the shopping and buying experience straight to users’ social feeds.

(ii)Personalized retargeting

The online shopping cart abandonment rate globally is huge; I personally have abandoned over 10 carts in the last month doing my Christmas shopping. Mobile has made things worse as attention spans tend to be shorter on smaller screens, despite driving a higher share of ecommerce traffic than desktop.

As the cart abandonment problem has increased, retailers are adopting a wider set of tools to try to counteract ‘lost transactions’. While retargeting has been around for a while, 2016 was a big year, with “more marketers sending triggered cart abandonment emails than ever before, using more personalized communications which resulted in greater success rates.

I think the trend will continue in 2017 in a much bigger way.

Live Streaming

In Zimbabwe 2017 is going to be the year of livestreaming with brands set to jump in on this technology. We have all become used to carrying around mobile devices and having practically anything we need right at our fingertips.

Now, both brands and individuals have begun using livestreaming as a way to be more in-the-moment with their followers (capitalizing on that whole #FOMO trend which is still going strong). In the past, brands chalked up their entire video marketing strategy to the hope that one of their videos would go viral.

However, as video (live video, in particular) becomes a larger part of users’ everyday lives, brands are going to have to work on continuously creating quality video content.

As top platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat are incorporating live video, we can be sure we’ll see it grow in 2017.

Larry Kwirirayi (ZIM)

Chief Imagineer at 3-MOB.com

Larry Kwirirayi - 3-MOB founder - 2017 Social media predictions from Top Zimbabwean Experts

Founder: 3-MOB

Local Digital Marketing Prediction

Last year we saw the drop-off in video consumption online due to costs meaning a lot of videos tended to be watched by the diaspora.

I expected this trend to continue although viral videos, pirated off the net will find their way compressed onto WhatsApp which is a nightmare for marketers who are obsessed with data.

Facebook will continue to drive most marketers budgets online although I fully expect their solutions to still be based on foreign trends and not local ones.

International Digital Marketing Prediction

Publishers are taking control of products especially on VOD.

The future of this space is exciting. I see less focus on specific social media marketing jobs to social media being integrated into the mainstream of the communications department.

Also the use of more players in he organisation as marketers. And yes, for international markets, now is the time for video.

Florida Mapeto (SA)

Florida Rumbidzai Mapeto - Influencer

Social Media Influencer | Freelance Speech Writer | Communications Consultant

Digital Marketing Prediction: Influencer Marketing to take over

Today’s digital marketing solely relies on referrals and what best works for this than utilising the men and women who have managed to gather attachment with a large pool of people online.

Unlike celebrities online influencers are just a relatable group of people who can alter, challenge or stir public opinion.

Brands and businesses would work well with this trend if done right because even Influencers also have to be careful about who or what they advertise for the sake of their reputation.

Allowing people to speak openly about their brand. Influencer marketing works even better for small businesses looking to start off with a specific target market but yet still find Facebook Ads a bit pricey

Business Engagement Increase on the Digital Space and especially Social Media

Most businesses in Zimbabwe haven’t quite grasped the importance of an efficient, well functional online presence for their business. 2017 might be the year they embrace total engagement with their clients, the necessity of hiring or placing Social Media managers to cover the gap of clients who feel neglected.

There is absolutely no point in placing adverts of your business if you’re not going to be there to respond to questions

William Chui (ZIM)
William Chui Head TechZim | Founder Pindula

Head of TechZim | Former leader at Pindula | Content Marketer by day | Father by night

Digital Marketing Prediction: Video to explode

Twitter will be bought. Their current business looks shaky and investors will push for this. May be bought by someone like Apple.

Local: Access to data allowing (this is dependent on the mobile networks) Video has the potential of exploding. Brands should look at investing into teams that are content creators and able to engage with their audience

Pendo O’ Donohue (Ireland)

Manager at Google
Senior Manager – Large Customer Sales- Israel, South Africa & Sub Saharan Africa

Pendo O' Donohue 2017 Social media predictions from Top Zimbabwean Experts

Disclaimer: The below are my personal thoughts and not those of my company!

Prediction: Artificial Intelligence (AI) 

As the world continues to hurtle into one where machines working for us ( think self driving cars) is becoming more common place I think we’ll see even more of a move towards automation or machine learning when it comes to digital marketing.

Companies and agencies will use machine learning to take advantage of real time data and insights  to maximise their return when it comes to digital advertising. The upside is  creating greater efficiency but we could see less humans required………

Zim goes online:

Zimbabwe is still a fledgling digital economy however,  I think we’re seeing more of an awareness of online (social mostly) as a powerful vehicle to get a narrative heard.

We’ll see more companies establish a digital presence  given that according to IWS we have roughly 45% of the population online. Companies need to be able to be discovered on search but please make sure your site is mobile friendly!

Tendai Joe (SA)

Digital Strateghist | Business Developer 

Tendai Joe - 2017 Social media predictions from Top Zimbabwean Experts

Digital Marketing Prediction: More Vlogs, Blogs and Online Magazines

Locally, I think there is going to be massive growth in terms of content creation. Young Zimbabweans will not only consume but create more local content especially in blogging circles. Expect to see more blogs, online magazines and vlogs.

Not much can be expected from brands and companies though, due to the economic climate in Zim. The Banking sector did well in 2016, and we should expect some consistency in terms of their digital presence.

Twitter to remain Flat

Twitter growth will remain flat, although the platform will continue to lead in terms of sparking conversations and breaking news. The relevance of the platform will become under the spotlight again as Trump takes over the reigns in the US. Facebook and Google will intensify their battle against fake news, and we should expect changes in the way posts show in feeds.

Facebook will continue to lead in terms of engagement and ROI when it comes to digital marketing. We however should expect a massive jump in terms of videos creates on Facebook and Twitter. YouTube engagements and subscriptions won’t change a lot.

Nigel Mugamu (ZIM)

Founder of 263chat | Highway Africa Award Winner

Nigel Mugamu @263chat founder

Prediction: Whoever will find ways to unlock Revenue on WhatsApp will WIN

For many, 2017 is a year for some key decisions to be made. I have a feeling that Twitter will sort itself out this year.

Zim

IF it’s true that over 70% of data usage in Zimbabwe is used for WhatsApp, whoever finds a way to generate revenue using WhatsApp is a winner.

Sakhile Ndlovu (Australia)

Sakhile Ndlovu - Digital Content ProducerEditor in Chief at FOAA Magazine | Digital Content Producer

Digital Marketing Prediction: 2017 will be the year of the innovators and self-starters.

You can now sell products more conveniently directly on Facebook for instance, meaning there’s less pressure for people to create websites – they just need to master Facebook advertising.

It’s not the ideal situation for digital marketers because anyone who puts in the time and effort can manage their own platforms with minimal assistance.

I foresee everyone trying to get a slice of making a passive income online with all this room for monetizing content. Those who aren’t tech savvy will be encouraged to pay more attention to social media trends and up their skills on all platforms.

Kundai Mangwende

Head of Digital – TBWA Zimbabwe

Gundas Mangwende Head of Digital TBWA Zimbabwe

Digital Marketing Prediction: Brands to move away from vanity metrics

Locally in terms of digital marketing I predict brands and companies are going to shift away from vanity metrics such as number of likes or comments to more meaningful engagement and interactions with their fans.

Brands are beginning to realize that the total number of fans or likes are useless if they do not offer some value either way. As a result, there is going to be a push from brand managers or community managers to start thinking beyond the “likes”.

Good for us, we have begun thinking like this for the brands that we work with, and they have come to see the results, be it in new business leads, customer service or solving clients’ problems.

Artificial Intelligence and Virtual Reality

Internationally there are 2 buzzwords that will dominate the digital marketing landscape in 2017: AI and VR. In 2016, most brands began experimenting with Virtual Reality as was of engaging with their target audiences.

Brands such as Intel and IBM have heavily invested in VR, looking beyond the imaginable to what the future of computing might look like. And funny enough the future is already here and it is both exciting as it a bit ‘scary’.

Then there is Artificial intelligence. 2017 will be the year of Bots and deep learning. As IBM Watson becomes available to companies that could not have afforded it.

Brands are beginning to tap into AI to solve common problems through understanding trends and patterns and anticipating that today was a bad day for Steve. So probably Steve will probably need a Latte instead of regular coffee and to cancel all notifications till tomorrow morning.

Now that’s fascinating.

Gwynneth Gwara

Content Management Officer – Steward Bank 

15 Top Experts from Zimbabwe give their Digital Marketing Predictions for 2017

Digital Marketing Prediction: All out roll out on Social Media

We are going to see Brands and Companies who had not jumped on social media go for it in 2017 and make noise on various social media platforms. Videos are going to rule in 2017 especially when you look at how popular videos became late 2016, with various brands and companies having a go at the mannequin challenge.
We are going to see a huge paradigm shift as marketers prioritize engagement, more than vanity metrics such as likes and number of fans. Marketers will need to put on their thinking caps and think without the box!

What about you?

Do you agree with these digital marketing predictions? What are your thoughts regarding these predictions. Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section and remember to share the article on any social media platforms.

Do you obsess with the number of views your video is watched? The number of hits your article generates or the number of likes or retweets it gets? Chances are if you are a content producer you probably do.

For the longest time, it was the traditional media print, radio and TV that were the gate keepers to information. But the social media revolution has tussled the keys from the gate keepers and placed them in the hands of ordinary men and women.

Every one now creates and consumes content.

4.6 billion pieces of content are produced every day according to LinkedIn. No wonder sensationalist headlines, eye catching thumbnail pictures, and sometimes false stories designed to bait us to click on content on the web pretty much make up what we see these days.

Content producers now resort to such “blackhat” tactics this as they look to boost their chances of increasing traffic and views.

Its not longer enough to just produce content.

The world has moved has moved on.

Now we are drowning in content. To stand out you need to produce outstanding content which is entertaining, informative or educative.

To create great content each and every time here is what you need to do

Leverage Pop Culture

Great storytellers or content producers know that using something that is familiar  or a widely known news story to explain a complex or otherwise boring subject can help increase traffic to an article.

5 Content Marketing Cues You Can Learn From Zim Dancehall ;

5 Marketing Lessons You Can Learn From Fungisayi  and are some of the examples of leveraging on pop culture.

Content is king, but context is god.

People go on social media to get entertained, to get a few minutes’ respite from stress. Others its to get gossip whilst others see it as a chance to get popular.

Does your content look the same, sound the same? Does it give the same benefits and value people look for when they come to the platform in the first place?

I have always said social media is a like drug which releases pleasure into your brain. So unless your content does the same, then its not native.

Great Content doesn’t disrupt

The term Social Media doesn’t really do justice or explain what social media is about. That is because the term media is usually associated with the term push. Traditional media was all about pushing content. It was about shoving content down our throats.
Whereas social media is not about pushing content.

It’s a conversation, where people engage and do not interrupt.

A brand which does this well is Nandos. They blend in so perfectly.

Remember the days of the Chihuta? Here’s what Nandos did!

How to Produce Outstanding Content on Social Media Everytime!

No wonder people don’t like adverts. They disrupt and interrupt a good time or a god show.
My guess is that this is why DVDs became popular or the PVR decoder where you can forward and bypass the advert.

When you do social like Nandos there is no need to interrupt.

What about you?

What things do you consider when you create content? I look forward to hearing your creative process and what you consider when you create content. If you enjoyed this please share it with your friends and family.

Unless you have been living under a rock for the past month or so you are probably aware of the growing social juggernaut and movement #ThisFlag led by Pastor Evan Mawarire.

Such has been the impact that businesses and economic activities ground to a halt for a full day with the protests reaching fever pitch as he was arrested and subsequently set free.

His story is remarkable.

Evan Mawarire, a previously ‘little’ known pastor, who using only a smartphone and the internet as well as the bible, has done something astonishing and received so much coverage that previously was ‘impossible’ to do without connections and a big budget.

Naturally, this got me thinking about the social media lessons we can learn from Evan Mawarire.

Lets delve into Evan’s impressive social media tactics.

Evan Mawarire struck a chord

What struck a chord with Zimbabweans is the way Evan took issues that are affecting everyone and put them in the spotlight.

It’s not stretching the truth to say most people would like to see decadence such as rampant corruption, poor service delivery dealt with, and Zimbabweans living a better life compared to what they are doing right now.

Lesson: Tell a story that is relatable to your audience

Before engaging in social media marketing learn and educate yourself about your audience. Find out what matters to them, what interests them, what they are looking for. Find out how you can meet their needs with a compelling message, be it a status update, video or tweet.

Always remember, people love instant solutions.

If your solution is what they are looking for, just sit back and relax as your post will only take minutes to spread like wild fire.

#ThisFlag videos

Evan uses short snack sized videos, which are easy to consume and do not use a lot of data, to push his message across. Crucially, he channels his emotion, making it a poignant and moving experience.

Until recently video wasn’t popular. Maybe it was the cost of data and lack of quality affordable devices that can make viewing videos a good experience.

However, Evan’s success with videos show Zimbabweans shift towards visual consumption. This is a trend which is likely to continue and only grow especially with the introduction of cost effective data bundles.

The availability of good low end smartphones people mean that people can now stream videos on WhatsApp and Facebook even YouTube. Evan Mawarire message got through because people could see him in videos preaching his message.

It was authentic, trustworthy and genuine. None of the mediums available could have communicated that as much as video has done.

Lesson: Invest in videos. Think Multi – media

If your marketing still relies on just text, you are doing it wrong.

There are just too many options available to entertain and educate your audience. You can use Videos (YouTube and Facebook), photos (Instagram), infographics an charts (Pinterest)) to tell your story.

Using different channels and mediums can help attract leads and increase brand awareness.

Evan always involves his audience

Whilst it may appear as if Evan is some sort of superman or has superpowers his strength lies in getting people involved through his videos and posts.

 

Social Media and #ThisFlag What You Can Learn From Evan Mawarire

Evan includes a rallying call and always, a take away point where he asks his audience to participate or get involved.

This might be something seemingly trivial as asking his audience to take a picture with a flag wrapped round their neck like a scarf and share it on social media or urging people to stay away from work as way to get a point across to the government.

Either way collaboration is key

Lesson:  Make it collaborative

Social media and digital marketing is now a multi channel and needs the involvement of all teams. It is a sign if strength.

Different people bring different skills and views to the table. This makes your content fresh, unique and inventive.

Draw up inspiration from different places and things.

Do not be afraid to experiment.

Wrapping it up

Evan’s approach was unconventional, but given its tremendous success it shows taking a risk can pay off with amazing results.

As a marketer you need to rethink your current marketing concepts and embrace social media and other new ways of getting your message out there.

I really look forward to your comments about what other lessons you learned from Evan’s #ThisFlag as well as sentiments. If you enjoyed the article please pause before you leave this page and share.

Once the face of gospel music, Fungisai’s star had fallen so much that she had become a lightning rod for ridicule.

Her waning star and diminishing status had nothing to do with her want of trying and effort rather people now found her songs stale, her message uninspiring, and rhythm outdated.

Young people simply couldn’t relate to it anymore.

But like the proverbial phoenix she has risen from the ashes to once again become the force that she once was when she burst onto the music scene.

There are a lot of social media marketing lessons we can learn from Fungisayi so hop along and let me show you.

Ride on Controversy 

What do Kim Kardashian and Pokello have in common? They both used the fame from the negative publicity they received from their sex tapes to launch successful businesses.

Of course, you do not have to leak a sex tape or even have one to be successful but the point is, when life throws you lemons make lemonade.

Fortunately, Fungisai is way too clever than that. She simply partnered with Zim Dancehall Superstars Killer T and Oskidi to create a gem of a track.

This was controversial on many levels. The church folk thought that she had gone rogue, mixing with the ‘heathen’ and secular artists. Others thought she was selling out.

Either way this proved to be an act of genius.

Her song ‘Vanondibatirana’ became a chart topper and in more than 10 years Fungisayi now had a scorcher once again.

She had returned to the big league. She was now on the comeback trail. She had rolled back the years.

WooHoo!

In the same manner as a social media marketer you need to capitalize on controversy and the resultant publicity.

I like how Nandos Zimbabwe in keeping the Nandos brand are mastering the art of using controversy for their gain.

I like what they did on Fathers Day with their ad which said “Nhasi Zvidya Ndezvababa”.

chihuta Zimbabwe Social Media Marketing Lessons We Can Learn From Fungisai

Cheeky and daring.  

But tell you what? This is exactly what people are looking for. People want to be entertained and have fun.

Of course not everyone can pull this off and it’s not everytime this will work but you need to have those risky but high reward ideas that you execute from time to time.

I wouldn’t recommend this approach to everyone.

Re – Invent Yourself

A brand every now and then becomes stale and needs to be refreshed. Fungisai recognized this and rebranded herself from being a gospel only musician to be just a just a musician.

Of course her music still is predominantly gospel as she still ministers through her songs. The simple and conventional music beats have been replaced by the upbeat and groovy Zim dancehall beat.

Oskid, the famed Zim dancehall producer is now producing her songs including her recent popular and controversial Amai Ndakanaka.

Time to change the wardrobe?

Fungisayi also changed her wardrobe. Out went the African attires in came the dungarees, ripped clothes and pictures on motor bikes.


3 Social Media Marketing Lessons We Can Learn from Fungisai Zimbabwe

She was rocking it baby!

Shocking! Outrageous! Scandalous they all said.

Memes popped up everywhere. Remember what they say all publicity is good publicity including bad publicity.

She was buzzing once again.

As a marketer every now and then brands need to refreshing, your social profiles including your Facebook, Twitter and social media banners profile and timeline pictures need to be refreshed and changed all the time.

People like new things and serendipity all the time.

Change your tactics often.

Shock people every now and then.

Experiment with the latest social media platforms such as Instagram and Snapchat for your business. You never know what might work for you and your brand.

Look out for New Trends (Plenty of exciting trends even in Zimbabwe)

Fungisai is a marketing genius. She realized earlier on than most artists that Zim Dancehall was taking over.

Collaborating with Killer T turned out to be a masterstroke.

Rather than fighting Zim Dancehall she now embraced it. A lot of other marketers fight with social media rather than embrace it.

In the same vein you need to be on the look out for new trends and tweak your message so that it resonates with the latest trends.

I like how Nandos did this. Remember Zvihuta (Quail bird) anyone?

In social media marketing there is what we call meme jacking, where a brand rides along a trending topic by producing a meme in line with that particular trending news, event or topic of discussion.

Nandos executed a Chihuta meme of the highest quality around the Chihuta craze.

chihuta Zimbabwe Social Media Marketing Lessons We Can Learn From Fungisai

Genius isn’t?

Just goes on to show how brands who are attuned to what is happening around them socially can win with social media marketing.

Over to you

The beauty about inspiration is that it is all around us. You never know when you will learn and when you will get your next idea.

The world is your oyster especially in this digital world. By constantly learning and unlearning, as well as reinventing yourself like Fungisayi you can make yourself and brand relevant once again.

Do you agree with this article? Or maybe you feel I overstretched it a bit. I look forward to reading your comments, opinions in the comments section.

Pss. One last thing. You know what I would really appreciate? If you could share this article with your friends and colleagues. Now that would be a banger!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You have successfully created your Twitter account and sent out a few tweets. There has been a like here and a retweet there but nothing to write home about. You joined Twitter hoping to drive your business goals or lead a certain cause. You envisioned your brand with tons of followers and your audience engaging with your content.

But as time rolls by and reality begins to set in you realise you are way in over your head. The impact you thought you were going to create has not yet materialised. You are losing steam and a feeling of hopelessness is taking over.

Crestfallen and dejected, you take an indefinite hiatus from Twitter.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

Twitter is a lot of things to different people. Sadly, a lot of people don’t take advantage of Twitter and its power to further their business goals.

It’s a shame.

Twitter is the most insistent brand connector the world has ever seen. Customers are always looking to make contact with brands on the platform to complain, praise or just tag the brand. It’s a great opportunity to build and nurture relationships with your clients or prospects.

To succeed on Twitter you must understand the nuances of the platform, have a distinct voice and find a way to push your business goals.

MY CASE STUDY

My case study goes 3 months back. After successfully growing my Twitter following to over 15K I was averaging around 2,800 twitter impressions per day, 3 Retweets, 6 likes and 2 replies per day. However, with the strategies I am going to tell you I am now averaging around 15,800 twitter impressions per day, 61 link clicks, 26 Retweets, 42 likes and 12 replies per day.

Below is a screenshot from Twitter Analytics

How to gain 400,000 Twitter Impressions in one month

Before you think of how you can increase your engagement on Twitter you need to understand that –

Context is more important than Content

Twitter is the place where a lot of news break.

The amusing thing though is that the best engagers on Twitter are people who are able to interpret and put their own positive (at times negative) spin on other people’s tweets, not necessarily those who break the news.

So how do you take advantage?

Remix other people’s tweets and put your own Signature style

Your success on twitter is not exactly based on the actual content you produce. But what will set you apart is being able to remix a Tweet and put it in your own signature style making the tweet more memorable and powerful than the original tweet.

This is a great way to add your unique context whilst differentiating and piquing people’s interest.

The only way to differentiate yourself and pique people’s interest is through your unique context

Have a Voice

When people go on Twitter or any other social network they are not going there to be marketed to but rather they are going there to get value and engage with other users. As such as a brand you need to provide value and have a unique voice.

This obviously depends on the personality of the brand. A brand which has a daring or excitable personality needs to adopt a witty or fun tone.

Post frequently and consistently on Twitter

A lot of brands on Twitter have a dilemma when they it comes to posting on Twitter. They worry that posting too much will annoy their audiences while posting too little will not have the desired effect.

The key is found somewhere in between and having the right balance.

I find using the DrumUp app, a social media and content curation app, makes posting content and scheduling posts a breeze.

It is quite simple to use.

In addition to scheduling my own blog articles and posts, I use it to find articles and posts around my area of interest that I think my audience would find interesting. This adds variety to my posts and makes my tweets more interesting and valuable to my audience.

To access fresh content suggestions you can easily do that from the Content Tab. See what posts you are interested in and select schedule to create a custom post or us e the 1-Click schedule.

How to gain 400,000 Twitter Impressions in one month: drum up

Post Tweets with Images

Visuals are processed 60,000 faster than text by the human brain and 90% of the information transmitted to the brain is visual. Generally tweets with images out-perform tweets with text only. To remove the hassle associated with sending pics frequently and consistently I again use Drum Up.

It makes sharing images a breeze.

Your Turn

Twitter is a lot more exciting when you engage with people whether you are a person or brand. Using the above strategies I am sure you will achieve your goals. I look forward to reading your comments and please do share the article with friends and colleagues.

 

It took 38 years before 50 million gained access to radios. It took television 13 years to earn an audience of that size, Facebook 3 and half years, Instagram a year and half, while Angry Birds only took just 35 days.

This statistics are altering the marketing landscape. Traditional marketing is slowly losing its relevance and reach. Social Media is cannibalizing and stealing the audience from traditional media.

The writing is on the wall for traditional marketers. The message is adapt or die.

For a long time social media was seen as a fad something that would pass with time. Mention social media to executives they would fidget and squirm in their chairs and look for an opportunity to switch the subject to ‘real’ marketing initiatives like advertising.

‘Times a changing’ as Bob Dylan famously sang. People now expect brands and organizations to have a social media presence and run exciting campaigns that they enjoy.

So how do you create a social media campaign that people will love?

#1 Plan your Social Media Campaign

Many businesses reason they should be on social media but have no idea what they hope to achieve. Most businesses post interesting updates on Facebook and schedule regular tweets with no end in mind. These are great initiatives but can be ineffective without a clear goal or a theme of promotion.

As you post to Facebook or social media platform of your choice you need a clear idea of what exactly you hope to really accomplish. Do you want to increase traffic to your website or to increase number of prospects?

This will help you determine what kind of actions to take and as well what kind of content to produce, otherwise you run the risk of wasting time and resources.

#2 Assemble a capable team

Businesses generally give social media duties to the younger generation thinking that there are naturals at managing social media. The problem with this thinking is that running a social media campaign requires some skill and then some. It’s not enough that someone knows their way around the social networks, they need executable knowledge.

Social Media involves quite a number of tasks and activities. You need to create content such as custom images, videos, blog articles and more. Successfully pulling this off sometimes requires having different individuals with different skill sets that complement one another.

Choose an appropriate channel

Selecting the latest social media platform, for instance Snapchat, because it is the shiny new toy will not cut it.  The type of platform you choose to execute your campaign should be a natural fit with your organization. It should be where your audience is found.

There is no point being on Instagram when none of your followers use the platform. Cross platform promotion is important however, there is need to ensure that you tailor your message observing the etiquette and norms of the channel.

Get organized with an editorial calendar

Jay Baer famously said social media is the Fire and Content is the Gasoline. Content is key to a successful social media campaign. It takes various forms like videos, images, links, text, infographics and more.

Social Media Campaign

Keeping track of content can be tricky.

That is why I recommend keeping and maintaining an Editorial Calendar. Such a tool will assist you to get and keep organized.

 

Choose the right voice

When decide to get on social media, you need to decide on the personality your brand adopts on the platform. Often this means choosing the right voice. First, you have to decide on the character. The character you choose depends on the type of industry you operate in. A business in insurance or health should have a professional character whilst a food and beverages company can decide to have playful one.

Consequently the tone needs to match the character. A playful character goes well with maybe a personal tone. The brand with such a character should then use a fun language with a purpose to delight or even entertain.

Over to you

Designing awesome social media campaigns can be plain fun.

It allows you to get your creative juices flowing. Indeed, there is no one way of creating a campaign and as such I look forward to reading your thoughts and stories on the social media campaigns you have carried out in the comments section and on any of the social media networks. If you enjoyed this post, please take time to share with your friends and loved ones.

Tinashe Nyaruwanga is a digital disrupter and story teller at www.TinasheNyaruwanga.com  where he talks of all things digital.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The digital era is here.

Social Media is now the part of our personal and business lives.

The dawn of social media is changing the landscape. A lot of the things that worked in the past no longer work today.

They are a distant but fond memory. The social web, micro blogging and digital marketing are all new skills we have to learn.

This means un-learning and letting go of knowledge we spent a lot of time learning.

Oh Snap!

I know it hurts but sticking to what we know is no longer an option in the digital world.

To succeed in the digital world we need to learn from the experts who have honed and refined their skills.

I have put together a team of social media super heroes to share with us their social media predictions and trends for 2016 from a Zimbabwean perspective.

Joseph Neusu    

joseph neusu: 2016 Zimbabwe Social Media Precidcitions

Trend: Visual Content to dominate

Visual content is set to dominate content marketing in 2016.

This is due to the fact that there is so much clutter in the traditional blog posts space and it is visual content that helps branded content to stand out.

Additionally, Youtube is unstoppable on its ascendancy as the 2nd biggest search engine. Visual content works very well in the attention economy where the competition for eyeballs is fierce and unforgiving.

This is especially true in a mobile context where visual content performs very well. Mobile users like snackable content in their streams and visual content fits this bill perfectly.

Kundai Mangwende

joseph neusu: 2016 Zimbabwe Social Media Precidcitions: Kundai Mangwende

Kundai is the community manager at the Digital Marketing agency TBWA.

Prediction: Content Marketing to be Big

2016 is going to be a great year for digital marketing in Zimbabwe.

With the cost data and devices becoming lower, there will be more users who have access to the internet than ever before.

With regards to social media, we are going to see more brands get on board from household brands to utilities and service industries. There will be no excuse not to be on social media.

Sadly though, not many are going to be doing it right.

My big bet is going to be on content marketing. In 2015 we saw what great content can do especially with the P.O. Box Team. 2016 it’s going to be bigger and more targeted to meet business goals.

At least that is what I and my team are gearing up for here at TBWA\ Zimbabwe. We going to go beyond just social media but rather the content itself and social media will be just about one of the distribution channels.

Delta Milayo

joseph neusu: 2016 Zimbabwe Social Media Predicitions

Delta is the social media editor at Zimpapers. In 2014 she was recognised as one of The Top 50 African Woman to follow on Twitter.

Trend: Social media becomes de facto news ‘beat’ in local newsrooms

Transformation in Local Media Practice: The incorporation of social media in local print news will become firmly established as a newsgathering technique thus cementing cyber-dialogues as legitimate forms of expression among print readers.

This growing reliance on social media to harvest story ideas, views and debates points to a transformation in terms of local media’s sourcing practices.

Social media will become entrenched as a ‘beat’ in its own right – where reporters deliberately camp and ‘gate-watch’ for news.

Sakhile Ndlovu

sakhile ndlovu: joseph neusu: 2016 Zimbabwe Social Media Predictions

Plays the keyboard in the band called the internet and hangs her hat at Beacham Group in Perth, Australia. You can read about her thoughts on the use of social media here.

http://buildingabrandonline.com/zerotomillions/

Trend: Video to become more prominent

Off the top of my head I would go with any video related prediction, particularly leaning towards Periscope because that hasn’t had it’s big boom yet but it’s been there for a while now. It’s like the Snapchat for business (or at least I think it should be).

Benjie Juru

2016 Zimbabwe Social Media Predictions

Trend: 2016 is going to be the year of “Search”.

Consumers will increasingly turn to search engines to seek for information, deals, promotions etc within their respective locations.

The scenario will in turn force companies to improve their search visibility to take advantage of this surge.

Year 2016 will be the year where having a simple Facebook or Twitter page is not going to cut it but companies will be forced to evolve in their thinking and approach to doing business.

The world has gone digital, consumers have gone digital and if your company is still in the stone age, no prizes for guessing that one!

Mike Tashaya

2016 Zimbabwe Social Media Predictions

Trend: Applications and Search to dominate

Apps to take over Applications as we know are nothing new but with Google now increasing the complexity and nuances of its ranking of apps, 2016 should see an explosion of apps for individual businesses.

There’s very little your mobile-friendly website can do which an app can’t do too, often better and with that bit more punch and panache.

With time or maybe even in the very near future it wouldn’t be surprising to see mobile-friendly (responsive) websites being phased out in favour of apps.

2016 should be an important year during which more and more business owners recognize the benefits of creating an app for their customers.

The Internet of Things (IoT) The IoT is the concept of everyday items — your mobile phone, your TV, your air conditioner, your car — all being “online” and able to share and use data. Adoption of wearable technology is expected to reach really high levels during 2016, and the IoT is fast becoming a reality.

This creates a whole new set of possibilities for digital marketers, who will be able to use data about people’s lifestyles, habits and likes in a way never before possible.

Expect 2016 to hold some interesting developments in this area.

My cry for Zim

There is a huge demand for digital marketers in the country at the moment and that demand should double in 2016 as business finally see the power of online especially social media marketing.

However the problem we have is that most suppliers don’t have the right credentials to provide the services required, most don’t even have them.

I am really hoping that in 2016 we begin to see some education institutions begin to provide digital marketing courses.

Universities themselves really need to adopt this powerful marketing technology to help with this demand. Digital is not a fad but it is here to stay and stay it will for a very long time.

Honest Masiya

Honest Masiya: 2016 Zimbabwe Social Media Predictions

Trend: Live Streaming to take off!

I think a lot of changes are a continuation of what we experienced at the end of 2015. Live video streaming will obviously take over with a lot of social media platforms that offer video platforms becoming more popular.

We are already seeing Snapchat doing quite well as a social network; I predict that it will rule in 2016 and also extend to the Zimbabwean audience.

Whatsapp, which will also introduce video calling will be a big hit this year! We just pray bandwidth locally becomes more and more affordable for best user experiences.

Max Soutter

 

Max Soutter: 2016 Social Media Zimbabwe Predictions

 

Trend: Paid Advertising to lead the way

Facebook is still King when it comes to building communities and driving traffic to offers on your website, that’s not going to change in 2016. What will change is that many more people and companies who have been frustrated with organic results on page posts will wake up to the gold mine that is paid advertising on Facebook.

Those who ignore this will have a very disappointing year as Facebooks organic reach is only going to continue to drop.

Thanks to multiple forces, 2016 will see so many more Zimbabweans creating digital content and attempt to brand themselves. The winners will be the ones who invest in understanding not just the dynamics of creating epic content, but how content become visible to targeted audiences online.

The debate between organic vs paid traffic is over. Paid won a long time ago. In 2016 the second wave of smart marketers will realize it.

What are your Social Media Thoughts about Zimbabwe?

What about you? What do you think about the state of social media in Zimbabwe and where it is headed. I would love to hear your thoughts and comments in the comments section below. I would really appreciate of you could share this article with your friends and family.

10 steps to create a killer blog post

10 steps to create a killer blog post

So you want to be a blogger?

Your brain is buzzing with ideas of your first blog post. You are so excited and enthralled by the notion of sharing your ideas and creativity with the rest of the world. You cannot wait to structure them into words and sentences to tell your story.

But when you get down to actually writing something down your mind goes blank, you do not know where to start. Or better yet, you have succeeded in writing your first blog post and after agonising and hovering your mouse or finger over the publish button, you press it. Your thoughts are live on the web. You congratulate yourself and pat yourself on the back.

But Lo and Behold!

After sharing your article a few times the only people to read your blog are maybe your mother or colleague but the rest of the world doesn’t seem to care.

Does this feel like you?

The web can be an extremely cold and lonely place. After agonising with words and sentences and pouring your heart and soul into a post, you realise that no one cares.

It can be heart-breaking.

But here’s how you can avoid this from ever happening to you.

#1 Write a Catchy Headline

You have great content and great ideas but how do you get people to read it? Headlines are what compel readers to go through your post. It is what draws eyeballs to your content. 10 Steps To Create a Killer Blog Post Did you know that 8 out of 10 people will read the headline copy, but only 2 out of 10 will go on to read the rest of the copy? This is the secret that Media Companies and newspapers have mastered.

Examples of some proven headline types include

How To, Tricks of the Trade

Example: Twitter: 5 Tools to Get You Tweeting Like a Boss

Best and Worst

Example: 9 Things People Love to Share on Social Media but Shouldn’t (And Why You Shouldn’t) 

Crystal Ball and History

Example: The History of Content Marketing 

Problems and Fears

Example: 8 Ways You Are Damaging Your Career (Prospects) on Social Media

Get What YouWant (In Health, Wealth, Relationships, Time and Lifestyle)

ExampleHow I Grew my Twitter Followers to Over 10 000 in under a Year (and how you can too) –

#2 Write Sub titles

Sometimes you cannot put everything in a headline. Sub articles are teasers that offer promise and intrigue of exciting and inspiring content to follow. They are what tempt and entice the reader to continue reading the post.

Headlines are what draws people to your content, sub titles are what keeps them interested.

#3 Tell a Story

I am the sit around a fire and tell stories kind of a guy so it’s only natural that I share stories in my blog posts every now and then.

The thing is, it works. People love stories.

People would rather read a story about how so and so made it rather than an academic block of text that only your professor or lecturer reads because she is duty-bound.

Do interviews and share personal stories of successful people in your field.

#4 Keep It Simple

I am a firm believer of the cliché KISS – Keep It Simple, Stupid!

While it was cool back in the day to flaunt your knowledge using BIG words and JARGON that no one with exception of yourself and a few of your colleagues understood, it’s probably not a good idea now.

Always tone down the jargon and pompous words so that people understand what you are talking about.

#5 Break Your Content into Bit Sized Chunks

The reality is that we live in an era of decreasing attention where there is so much clutter and content competing for your audience’s attention. The art of keeping a reader engaged has become an ongoing creative and scientific experiment of verbal and visual seduction.

There is nothing more frustrating to a reader than finding a block of content which says to the reader if you want information, good luck in finding it.

Write in short easy to read snack bite sized paragraphs which make it easier for your audience to skim through your content.

#6 Use Images

We have said it before it’s about seduction and the visitor needs to be continually visually arrested to keep them interested and on the page.

There is real seduction in imagery.

Picture this you are reading productive content on the web or catching up on the results of last night’s game you missed. But before you know it you are off chasing 15 Most Insane pictures of the Amazon. Why? 10 Steps to Create A Killer Blog Post You were drawn to click on it because of the image. Not only do images help in keeping interest but they also do a darn good job facilitating clicks. Brains process images faster than they do words.

#7 Include Keywords

This is absolutely one thing you should not ignore.

Keywords help determine how you rank on Google or on major search engines. Just like how a Sea Vessel Captain uses a compass  to find course and directions to their destination, search engines rely on keywords to bring up relevant content to people’s search queries. Make sure you include keywords that people will use when they are looking for content.

The challenge is to write naturally and be mindful of Google.

#8 Include Calls to Action

What is the take home point you want to put across in your article?

What is it that you want the reader to do after they have read your article? This might be a phrase like, “What will you do differently from today onward that you have learnt from the post?”

This adds purpose to your blog posts.

#9 Closing

Always close your blog posts in style.

Remember those movies that you keep rewinding and watching so you can watch the closing over and over again? That’s how your closing needs to be.

Okay I stretched it a bit.

But do try to wrap up your post in a style that allows you to deliver the message to your readers in the most exciting and unique way as possible.

#10 Promote Using Social Media

So you’ve gone through the trouble of writing content that you believe will change people’s lives. You probably dedicated a lot of time creating it and forgoing watching your favourite TV show or stole a few minutes of your employer’s time just to finish it. The next question is, how do I get people to read this?

This is where social media comes into play.

Whilst Social Media is something that others do for fun. For bloggers it is something that accelerates and amplifies their reach due to its ability to, using the power of the crowd, to share your content and brand for free.

Share your content on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. The secret sauce is to create a social media synergy where the sum is greater than the individual parts.

Wrapping it up

The world is your oyster, we are now living in a knowledge economy where you can be whoever you want to be if you are willing to put in the time. Some of you will read this and carry on as if nothing ever happened.

But you are no like them.

Act and take one step at a time to create the future you want that you deserve.

To your blogging greatness.

I appreciate the time you took reading this post. It would be great if you leave a comment on the blog or share it with your audience.